Archive for February 2007
What a day. One horrendous thing at work (not horrendous for me per se… but horrendous in just that way that brings home minus abstraction and distance, all joking aside, what a shit place the world is), followed by a delightful moment of post-mla schadenfreude (my sector of the world seems a little more just and competent), but to top it all off……………
Oh lord do I love it. (What is it you ask? A reel of the faux media/design content developed by a firm called Foreign Office for Children of Men, of course…) Half the delight I take in the speculative genre comes of this sort of material. I don’t really love gizmos and the like, but neo-brands, speculative graphic design and media accouterments, yeah, that’s all me. Why? Um, see this blog. Have you noticed the title?
I especially love this sort of thing in a movie like Children of Men. Why bother advertising in a world in which there are no new consumers to capture, the market must have self-destructed decades ago, there really is no point to any of it anymore? But what the hell. You know they’d still be there, the ads… everywhere…
(Special note to the folks that made this stuff for Children of Men, if you happen to technorati by: Though it might seem at first glance that I am unlikely candidate for employment with your firm – as I’m not trained in design, I’m kind of an almost religiously-intense communist, I’m an English professor, I’m just post-30 so not really in the market for an internship or such like, I really do think it would be in your best interest to give me a call, and then a job for life. I would say goodbye to all that for the chance to tinker away at faux-ads, faux brand identities. I will learn to use photoshop. I will learn to edit videos. I will make videos of dogs wearing fur-lined jackets. I will even make real ads for nasty corporations, so long as I’m permitted, at least some of the time, to make up brand identity kits for fake corporations in dystopian movies. In short – and I’m not kidding – I’m pretty good at what I do now, fully employed and so forth, I have a phd from an internationally elite university in totally the wrong field to do this, but I will move * tomorrow to where you are and, well, be really intensely ready to make faux ads.
I mean, seriously, look at the f’ing name of my site. Born to do this.
Drop me an email.
* so long as you’re located in New York, London, Shanghai or any smaller city that’s ever been profiled in Wallpaper.)
Just in case you’re getting a bit too foamy-at-the-mouth over the recent recentering of the American political scene. From here:
Oddly enough, Schumer said, those ideas are based on his imaginary conversations with an imaginary couple named Joe and Eileen Bailey.
Typical middle-class Americans from Long Island, the Baileys make $75,000 a year and have three children. The Baileys apparently guide all of Schumer’s political thoughts and steer him clear of the kind of left-leaning rhetoric that causes Democrats trouble on Election Day. “The party that figures out how to reach the Baileys in our dramatically altered world will be the dominant party for a generation to come,” he writes.
To hear Schumer tell it, Joe and Eileen have been showing him the way for years. Referring to the three-term Republican incumbent he vanquished in 1998 to win his Senate seat, Schumer said, “I beat Al D’Amato talking to them.”
Good to have some honesty and clarity on this point. Schumer, generally considered a left-leaner on most issues and of course only in context, draws the constituency line at the $75,000 household income level.
(I’ve decided, partially inspired by this post, that I’m going to start writing up mini-reviews of most everything that I read on here. I’m doing this because far too much good reading time dribbles away into blog reading, email writing etc. I’m at a point in my life where 1) I have no time to read anything that’s not course / writing related but where 2) I really do need to get a huge amount and eclectic variety of reading done away from course and writing prep… Maybe doing this will help me along…)
Only read the preface and the chapters that directly deal with Wells (who I’m working on right at the moment). Most of the material here seems both foundational and somewhat dated. I enjoyed the short description of the context in which most of this was conceived – the dual “anti-capitalist and anti-Stalinist struggle” of 1950s-1960s Yugoslav literary academia (x-xi). When I read stuff like this, I can’t help but think of how different it must have been to live and do humanities work in a world in which there was actually-existing bipolarity – a world in which Marxism would be something other than a perversely nostalgic mode of preservation.
Interesting thought about the relationship between literary morphology and social change, and the sense that the twentieth-century suffers from a form of blockage that has to do with the potential, though not yet actualized, possibility of proletarian dominance. Science Fiction, and other “low” forms, simly can’t become properly hegemonic because of geopolitical rigidites.
The Wells’s sections do a decent job contextualizing his utopian work and then reading The Time Machine quite closely, with an eye to the clash between Wells’s fictional form (dependent as it is upon the dramatization of what the Traveller sees) and Victorian / Bourgeois faith in progress, Social-Darwinism, etc.
There are moments when Suvin deploys provocative questions – such as, for instance, the sense that that “principle of a Wellsian structure of science fiction is mutation of scientific into aesthetic cognition” (232-3) – without adequately following up on the question itself.
In sum, not all that helpful for me. But an excellent general resource for the exploration of Wellsian and pre-Wellsian utopia. The bibliography itself is worth the price of admission.